The effect of cultivating diagram use on the quality of EFL students' written explanations

Journal article


Manalo, Emmanuel, Tsuda, Ayano and Dryer, Rachel. (2019). The effect of cultivating diagram use on the quality of EFL students' written explanations. Thinking Skills and Creativity. 33, pp. 1 - 9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tsc.2019.100588
AuthorsManalo, Emmanuel, Tsuda, Ayano and Dryer, Rachel
Abstract

This study investigated how an intervention that promoted the use of diagrams might affect quality features of written explanations produced by EFL (English as a foreign language) students in an undergraduate education studies course taught entirely in English. At the beginning (Pre-instruction) and end (Post-instruction) of the semester, the 19 student participants were administered a task that required reading a passage and writing an explanation of it. During the semester they had a weekly homework task of writing an explanation of what they had learned in the course. They were additionally provided workshop instruction and practice in using diagrams. Analyses of the students’ homework and Pre- and Post-instruction explanations revealed increases in quantity and types of diagrams the students included in explanations they produced. Analysis of Post-instruction explanations also showed that number of diagrams included in the explanations negatively correlated with both word- and verb-counts. However, despite the reduction in use of words, the number of key points the students were able to include in their explanations did not decrease. These findings suggest diagram inclusion may enable students to construct more concise and simpler explanations without having to sacrifice inclusion of important points. Especially for foreign language students who may not be as proficient in the use of the language, the cultivation of competencies in appropriate use of diagrams may be beneficial as it could provide a means to more creatively and efficaciously communicating what they know.

KeywordsSelf-generated diagrams; Written communication; Creativity in explaining; English as a foreign language students; Diagram use instruction
Year2019
JournalThinking Skills and Creativity
Journal citation33, pp. 1 - 9
PublisherElsevier Ltd
ISSN1871-1871
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tsc.2019.100588
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85069974539
Page range1 - 9
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Controlled
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
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